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HCN Stock Watch: More of the same

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Both Valspar and BlueLinx stayed stagnant at Wednesday’s close. This was an unusually quiet moment for BlueLinx, which has flipflopped for the past couple days.

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Sears repeats recall of Kenmore dehumidifiers

BY HBSDealer Staff

After a low response rate to its initial recall, Sears has repeated its announcement to recall nearly 800,000 Kenmore dehumidifiers after new fires were reported.

The original recall, which occurred last year, involved more than 100 troubleshooting reports that included property damage and smoke inhalation. Recently, Sears received seven additional reports of shorting and fire, one of which resulted in severe burns to a customer’s foot and three of which resulted in over $300,000 in property damage.

The retailer is recalling 35, 50 and 70-pint dehumidifiers with a Kenmore logo, manufactured by LG Electronics Appliance Co. between 2003 and 2005. Sears warns consumers to stop use immediately and avoid reselling the products. The dehumidifiers pose a risk of overheating, smoking, melting or catching on fire.

“The dehumidifiers are made of white plastic and are between 21 and 24 inches tall, about 15 inches wide and about 13.5 inches deep,” according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “They have a fan, humidity controls and a Kenmore logo on their top front panels. They come with front-loading water buckets. Some models include remote controls. The model number can be found on the right side of the interior of the unit once the bucket has been removed. Recalled units have the following model numbers: 35-pint (2004) – 580.54351400; 50-pint (2003) – 580.53509300; 70-pint (2003) – 580.53701300; 70-pint (2004) – 580.54701400; 70-pint (2005) – 580.54701500.”

The CPSC is instructing customers to turn off and unplug their appiances and to contact the Recall Fulfillment Center. Customers will be rewarded with a Sears gift card or a check for the refund amount.

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J.D. Power report: Warranty matters when it comes to appliances

BY HBSDealer Staff

J.D. Power and Associates has released its annual kitchen and laundry appliance satisfaction surveys, with warranty playing an increasingly important role in the minds of customers.

Performance and product-specific features have long been the most influential factors in calculating these statistics, but warranty and price have been trending upwards in importance. Warranty now contributes to about 10% of the overall satisfaction score across all categories, a jump of two percentage points over the last three years.

The second most important factor for laundry appliances is ease of use, which makes up 20% of the score. For kitchen appliances, price has increased in importance by two percentage points to comprise 15% of overall satisfaction.

"We continue to see a tightening of scores among the highest-ranked brands, which is very telling in that, although specific brands have specific strengths, in the end there are a number of brands delivering an outstanding customer experience," said Christina Cooley, director in the home improvement industries practice at J.D. Power. "In this extremely competitive environment, brands that have already proven themselves through their products will likely be able to further differentiate through their relationships with their customers, as demonstrated through their warranty, and ultimately providing a consistent and strong value message that incorporates both the product and long-term relationship with customers."

Overall, Samsung took the lead in clothes washers, LG’s clothes dryers were favored the most, Sub-Zero had the highest ranking for refrigerators, and Kenmore took the lead in both dishwashers and ranges, cooktops and ovens. 

The studies measure customer satisfaction based on six factors: ease of use, features, performance/reliability, price, style and warranty.

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